Cooperative Education and Career Center

The Cooperative Education and Career Center offers many services to help undergraduates, graduates and alumni in making career choices appropriate to their personal goals. Participation in Center services can help students systematically plan for a successful career future and assist graduates and alumni advance or change their careers. Center services include cooperative education, career advising, career development courses, senior and alumni placement services and student employment.


Dean: Estella Nicholson
Assistant Dean: Sheryl McGriff
Locations: FAC 70 McNichols Campus, AD 203 Outer Drive Campus
Telephone: (313) 993-1017/6102
Fax: (313) 993-1029/6179


Career Advising

Career planning plays an essential role in the initial phase of career development. The Center offers a series of programs to provide students with pertinent information and effective decision-making skills that will assist them in their personal career/goal setting process. Through participation in career development courses, one-on-one career planning sessions, group workshops, interest inventories, skills assessments and special employer functions such as Career Expo, Healthcare Expo, and Education Expo, students can explore various career options. MOIS, a computerized guidance system, facilitates self-assessment and the development of career and academic plans. In addition, by utilizing the Center’s website and resource library, students have access to a comprehensive reference collection of company literature, educational guides, self-help publications and career information resources.

Senior and Alumni Placement Services

Placement and job search assistance is available to seniors and alumni. Services include workshops and seminars, one-on-one job search planning sessions, mock interviews, campus interviewing and an opportunity to participate in local and regional job fairs. Career Connections, a computerized resume referral service, is available along with access to a database of current job postings from local, regional and national organizations.

Student Employment Services

Students interested in part-time and full-time off-campus job opportunities may utilize the Center’s Student Employment Service to view current job postings in the Metropolitan Detroit area.


Cooperative Education

Cooperative Education (Co-op) links academic learning with workplace experience to provide students with an education that has career relevance. Co-op gives students a chance to obtain practical work experience relative to their major and career goals before graduation. Students augment their academic programs with terms of paid training in business, industry, and government.

All UDM students are eligible to participate in co-op. The program is mandatory for Engineering, Architecture and Nursing students. Co-op assignments normally run concurrent with the University academic term beginning in January, May, and September. Work assignments are career specific. Students either "ALTERNATE" a full-time academic term with full-time co-op work assignments or "PARALLEL" part-time academic studies with part-time co-op work assignments.

The UDM co-op, in existence since 1911, is the third oldest continuous program in the United States.

Participation and Eligibility

All students in Bachelor of Architecture, Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Bachelor of Engineering programs are required to participate in the cooperative education program as part of their graduation requirements. Architecture and Engineering students have a minimum 2.0 overall GPA requirement, Nursing students a minimum 2.5.

Students in Liberal Arts, Business Administration, Health Services Administration, and Education and Human Services may elect to participate in the cooperative education program if their overall GPA is 2.5 or above, and they obtain faculty authorization from the school/college in their declared major.


Cooperative Education Preparation (CEC 300/500) is the prerequisite for students to participate in the cooperative education program. This one credit, tuition free class prepares students for involvement in the cooperative education program. The course helps students develop a greater understanding of how their own interests, skills and values are used in the process of successful career decision-making and planning.

As part of the course, students complete required paperwork, establish a relationship with their designated co-op coordinator and develop a clear plan for their co-op job search.

Transfer Students

Cooperative education is an option for students transferring into UDM. Students contemplating transferring to the University from another institution should contact a co-op coordinator and arrange an appointment to evaluate the student’s academic history and career goals for participation in cooperative education.

Adult and Graduate Students

The cooperative education program has been extended to include experiential learning models for returning adult learners and graduate students. Students that are currently employed or seeking a career change/ advancement can use the co-op model to develop and acquire new skills. Co-op options such as job conversion, temporary placement and extended day are available. These options incorporate a learning agreement that can be used in support of new skill development with the student’s current employer or in setting up a co-op assignment with a new employer.

Adult learners interested in a job change can also take advantage of co-op through the traditional model of alternating or parallel assignments. Interested students should contact the Center for more information or to enroll in the program.

Co-op Student Responsibilities

• Successfully complete CEC 300/500 during the first semester of sophomore year or second semester of graduate program.
• Participate in two (possibly three) full-time training assignments before graduation.
• Complete 16 weeks of full-time co-op employment or 32 weeks of part-time co-op employment.
• Meet with a faculty advisor to integrate cooperative education and course planning.
• While on alternating co-op, take no more than six credit hours during the term without consulting their academic dean and co-op coordinator. Course work and work responsibilities should never interfere with each other.
• Complete all academic assignments and evaluation forms as part of the co-op assignment grade. Requirements may vary depending on the co-op assignment.
• Keep the co-op coordinator abreast of any changes in the co-op assignment.
• Architecture and Engineering students must maintain an overall GPA of 2.0. All other undergraduate programs must maintain a 2.5 overall GPA, and graduate students, a 3.0 GPA.
• Schedule "send-off" interview with co-op coordinator prior to each assignment, "exit" interview at assignment completion and "transition" interview at completion of co-op program.
• Adhere to policies of the co-op employer and the regulations of UDM catalog and the CECC’s co-op handbook.
• Participate in seminars as required.
• Pay the requisite participation fee for each co-op assignment. ($200 alternating/$100 parallel).

Co-op Portfolio Credit

Many transfer and returning adult students have spent considerable time in the work world and have experience that would be considered comparable to the co-op experience. These students have the option of submitting a "co-op portfolio" to document these experiences for consideration to fulfill the co-op requirement. For more information regarding the co-op portfolio credit, contact the Cooperative Education and Career Center. Please refer to the individual school/college listings for the specific requirements for participation in cooperative education.